Saturday, 30 November 2013

REVIEW - DARKEST WORLDS - A DYSTOPIAN ANTHOLOGY BY S.K. FALLS, A.G. HENLEY, ZOE CANNON, KATIE FRENCH, MEGAN THOMASON & KATE AVERY ELLISON

All details found at Goodreads.com or Amazon.co.uk
Title: Darkest Worlds
Authors: S.K. Falls, A.G. Henley, Zoe Cannon, Katie French, 
                 Megan Thomason & Kate Avery Ellison
ASIN: B00EYMO344
Publisher: Self/Indie
Pages/File size: 237pages/409KB
Formats Available: E-Book

BLURB from Goodreads
An anthology that explores what humans are made of when society falls to its knees. Darkest Worlds includes six original novellas by award-winning authors and best sellers of Young Adult and New Adult Dystopia.

All proceeds go to Girls Write Now, a charity that promotes literacy of inner-city girls. 

Nessa: A Breeders Story by Katie French, author of The Breeders
: Eighteen-year-old Nessa knows what it’s like to be an endangered species. Growing up in a dying world where nine out of ten babies are born male, she survives by trusting no one. When Marlin, the nineteen-year-old gunslinger, kills the man who has been keeping her enslaved, Nessa decides he might be her meal ticket. What she doesn’t realize is love is still possible, even in their decimated world.

MOON by S.K. Falls, author of World of Shell and Bone
: Loyalty. Obedience. Patriotism. Moon Stewart has no doubt that the New Amanian way of life is the right way. The only way. But was there ever a time when she felt differently? In this companion novella to the dystopian bestseller World of Shell and Bone, the secrets of Moon's past are revealed, giving readers a glimpse into the mind of their favorite antagonist. 

The First Unforgivable Thing by Zoe Cannon, author of The Torturer’s Daughter: When a dissident working undercover as an interrogator is ordered to torture a confession from the only girl he’s ever loved, he chooses to defy both the totalitarian regime and the resistance by helping her escape—but she has an agenda of her own...

The Keeper by A.G. Henley, author of The Scourge, a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Award: Peree knows his duty as the new Keeper of the Water Bearer, Fennel, is to make sure his people get every drop of their share of the water she collects when the flesh-eating Scourge roam the forest. He will motivate her, distract her, do anything he can to keep her working. He knows his duty is to his people and his people alone. What he doesn’t know is that he's falling in love with her. 

Survival Lessons by Kate Avery Ellison, author of Frost
: A young Farther prisoner named Eva escapes into the monster-filled wilderness of the Frost with a band of fellow inmates, all of whom are harboring secrets...but little do they know that Eva has secrets of her own. Set in the world of The Frost Chronicles.

Clean Slate Complex by Megan Thomason, author of the Daynight 
series: Homeless Alexa Knight agrees to help the do-gooder non-profit The Second Chance Institute in return for medical care for her sick mother. The SCI is wooing the poor and downtrodden into their Clean Slate Complexes--where "everything is provided" from jobs to food, shelter, clothing, and education. Unfortunately, as with all things that sound too good to be true, there's a catch......


INITIAL THOUGHTS
My initial thoughts approaching this anthology were that although I had read a couple of the novellas in it I was looking forward to reading the other novellas. I truly think that anthology's are a treasure trove, a easy way to discover New Authors, and New Series too.

MY OVERALL REVIEW
I actually purchased the e-book of this one form Amazon.co.uk for £1.98 and I have to say it's worth every penny! The cover is really fitting for the novellas as it shows a dystopian-esque world background. The title also fits very well.
So would I pick this up from a bookstore shelf (if in paperback) on the strength of the cover alone? My honest answer would be yes!
So on the whole and as an Anthology did I enjoy the book? Yes, loved it. Would I recommend the book? Yes, I'm already nagging Rachel saying oh you must read it! Would I read any of the Series that the novella's were from? Yes, I've already read The Breeders by Katie French. I have purchased Daynight by Megan Thomason and The Torturer's Daughter by Zoe Cannon. I also have The Scourge by a.G. Henley on my book list to read. I also plan on purchasing the World Of Shell And Bone by S.K. Falls soon as finances allow. I'm also hoping to Interview some of the Authors from this anthology too.
Overall score out of 5? 5 an excellent anthology.

INDIVIDUAL REVIEWS
Nessa: A Breeders Story by Katie French, author of The Breeders: Eighteen-year-old Nessa knows what it’s like to be an endangered species. Growing up in a dying world where nine out of ten babies are born male, she survives by trusting no one. When Marlin, the nineteen-year-old gunslinger, kills the man who has been keeping her enslaved, Nessa decides he might be her meal ticket. What she doesn’t realize is love is still possible, even in their decimated world.
MY REVIEW
This novella is part of the Breeders Series, Nessa is literally a "slave" for Big Mike who reckons he is protecting her. You see in this world women are a rare commodity. When Nessa is rescued by Marlin she is not sure whether to trust this attractive guy. In the end she does develop some trust and ends up pregnant and then she is unsure as to how Marlini will react so is scared to tell him. Marlin and Nessa are constantly on the run from the Breeders, who as their name suggests just want the women to Breed. With Nessa pregnant it becomes much more difficult to avoid the Breeders so eventually she is caught . . .and then what happens . . .
So did I enjoy this novella? Yes!
Would I like to read the series/more by Katie French? Yes, I already have!
Would I recommend this novella/Series? Definitely recommend both!
A score out of 5? 5

MOON by S.K. Falls, author of World of Shell and Bone: Loyalty. Obedience. Patriotism. Moon Stewart has no doubt that the New Amanian way of life is the right way. The only way. But was there ever a time when she felt differently? In this companion novella to the dystopian bestseller World of Shell and Bone, the secrets of Moon's past are revealed, giving readers a glimpse into the mind of their favorite antagonist. 
MY REVIEW
This novella is set in 2078 after the "War Of The Nations" which happened in 2013. In this world at the age of 18yrs people are assigned an apartment by the government. The main character is Moon (all the residents seem to name their offspring after planets). Moon has an older sister name Neptune, she is one year older Moon and somewhat of a disappointment to her mother. The mother of Moon and Neptune always wanted a much respected job in the government but missed out due to not having enough credits. You are given credits for giving names of "dissidents" and "wrong doers" to the government. You quite literally gain credits by turning in your family and friend's and neighbour's for misdemeanors.
So when daughter Neptune show's what her mother thinks of as dissident tendencies/leanings she forces other daughter Moon to report Neptune. Then later Moon gets the sought after job her mother wanted. Has Moon ever forgiven her mother for making her "turn in" her own sister? . . .  
So did I enjoy this novella? Yes, I did.
Would I like to read the series/more by S.K. Falls? Yes, I intend to.
Would I recommend this novella/Series? Yes, I intend to read more of the series.
A score out of 5? 5

The First Unforgivable Thing by Zoe Cannon, author of The Torturer’s DaughterWhen a dissident working undercover as an interrogator is ordered to torture a confession from the only girl he’s ever loved, he chooses to defy both the totalitarian regime and the resistance by helping her escape—but she has an agenda of her own...
MY REVIEW
This novella also has a government/rebellion theme going on. The dissident that is the undercover interrogator is shown into a cell or "torture"room where he comes face to face with a face from his past. A face he loved and still has feelings for so much so he refuses to torture her, goes so far as rescuing her and rings his dissident contacts who tells him to take the girl back. . . . . . so does he take her back? . . . . .is it some sort of test? . . . . part of a bigger plan?
So did I enjoy this novella? Yes, I did.
Would I like to read the series/more by Zoe Cannon? Yes, I've already purchased The Torturer's Daughter in e-book format.
Would I recommend this novella/Series? Yes I recommend the series purely on the strength of this novella.
A score out of 5? 5

The Keeper by A.G. Henley, author of The Scourge, a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Award: Peree knows his duty as the new Keeper of the Water Bearer, Fennel, is to make sure his people get every drop of their share of the water she collects when the flesh-eating Scourge roam the forest. He will motivate her, distract her, do anything he can to keep her working. He knows his duty is to his people and his people alone. What he doesn’t know is that he's falling in love with her. 
MY REVIEW
This novella is set in a kind of cave man type of era. There are three main races. The Groundling's who live on the ground and have control of the water. It is a sightless Groundling who has the job water bearer and collects the water. The Loftie's who live in the trees with wooden planks between the trees for walk ways who protect the water bearer from the Scourge, they are called Keeper's. The Scourge are kind of like zombies, but they bite and kill so are feared. However for some reason they cannot touch a sightless person, which is why a sightless Groundling is the one to collect the water.
A new water bearer and new keeper are chosen and the novella tells us about their burgeoning relationship. . . are they even allowed to have feelings for each other?
So did I enjoy this novella? Yes, I did.
Would I like to read the series/more by A.G. Henley? As I already have The Scourge I will definitely be reading it.
Would I recommend this novella/Series? The novella gives a great taster of what is to come in the book (hopefully)
A score out of 5? 5

Survival Lessons by Kate Avery Ellison, author of Frost: A young Farther prisoner named Eva escapes into the monster-filled wilderness of the Frost with a band of fellow inmates, all of whom are harboring secrets...but little do they know that Eva has secrets of her own. Set in the world of The Frost Chronicles.
MY REVIEW
This novella begins with Eva as a prisoner being loaded into a cage to be transported to a possible type of work/prison. The rumor is you get sent there and just work until you drop down dead. Eva escapes with three other prisoners who are search of a mystical sounding machine. when this machine is found there are fights between the escapee's as to who gets it. It seems at least two of the escapees including Eva are some sort of undercover agents for a rebellion group. We also find out that Eva is related to someone rather important in this dystopian world. This novella is definitely a taster of the Frost Series.
So did I enjoy this novella? Yes, I did.
Would I like to read the series/more by Kate Avery Ellison? I am tempted to buy book one in the Frost Chronicles.
Would I recommend this novella/Series? I'd recommend reading this, especially if you are not sure if you will like this series/author.
A score out of 5? 4.5

Clean Slate Complex by Megan Thomason, author of the Daynight series: Homeless Alexa Knight agrees to help the do-gooder non-profit The Second Chance Institute in return for medical care for her sick mother. The SCI is wooing the poor and downtrodden into their Clean Slate Complexes--where "everything is provided" from jobs to food, shelter, clothing, and education. Unfortunately, as with all things that sound too good to be true, there's a catch......
MY REVIEW
This novella is about a charity type company that helps the poor and seemingly gives them a better life. Initially they are in one Complex until they are considered fit and well. Then they are shipped off to various destinations to repay the charity and help them work in the organisation. Alexa is helped by the charity as her mother is really sick and they cannot afford hospital fees. Her three brothers who are large muscular types are quickly taken away from Alexa and given jobs in security. The brothers "working" is the way the hospital fees will be paid off. But though this sounds like a charity it is a much sinister organisation and an when an insider shows Alexa this,she is horrified, though until her mother is well there is little she can do. . . . . So what are the people at Clean Slate Complex really up to?
So did I enjoy this novella? Yes, I really did.
Would I like to read the series/more by Megan Thomason? I have already purchased Daynight and have heard that Bk#2 Arbitrate is due out soon too.
Would I recommend this novella/Series? Definitely yes! I imagine my daughter is really sick of me saying you must read this you must read that.
A score out of 5? 5


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